the lazy lunch box

So it is term three here in Queensland! Putting together great lunches seems to be a morning chore that I am not that enthused about. So, if you’re like me and needing some inspo, here you go; fresh, easy, lazy lunches…

 Bits of fruit from the fridge and some sandwiches with cheese and crackers went down a treat!

 

 It’s a little fruit and veg with some carbs here… my girl loves sugar plums!!

 

 Nuts are allowed in some schools, not my girls, but my boys is ok so he can get his pistachio on!

 

 Really just whatever fruit or veg you have, a little carbohydrate and some homemade cookies are the best fuss free, yummy lunches!

 

 Apple, grapes, paw paw and a ham roll.

 

  So whatever you’ve got, or if you’re going shopping, just whatever fruit is in season, a few veges like snowpeas or carrot, then some sandwich or crackers and a treat should pull them through. Its 6 hours…. they’ll be home for afternoon tea and dinner!

I hope this helps with your lunch box duty. Keeping it simple and fresh is easier and cheaper than all the muesli bars and bought crap, I promise!

 

 

 

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the lazy lunch box

Queensland grey pumpkin soup

Sometimes our body needs a little love. With all the vitamins and minerals packed into a pumpkin alone, then adding the amazing carrots and apple you’re home and hosed! And the best thing? It’s so yummy! Dear friends of mine, Mary and Pat, gifted me a homegrown Queensland grey and I couldn’t resist! So after having baked pumpkin, steamed pumpkin and a pumpkin gnocchi, I used the rest in this incredibly delicious soup! My kids love this pumpkin soup, I hope you do to!

 

Ingredients

4 cups (about half a full pumpkin) of chopped Queensland Grey pumpkin

2 chopped carrots

1 green apple

3 cups vegetable stock

1 onion

5 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed

A splash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

A handful of herbs (I have used thyme, parsley and oregano)

 

 

Method

Place a splash of olive oil into a large soup pot. Heat on medium and then add your onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes. Now add your vegetables and apple. Stir everything ensuring to coat your veges in the garlic goodness. Now add your stock and bring to the boil. Pop the lid on and turn down to a simmer for half an hour. Add your herbs and let them soak in to the richness of your creation.

How you like your soup will depend on what you do next. Sometimes I mash the soup with a potato masher and add a cup of water. Other times I blend it until super smooth, and just add half a cup of water. This is personal preference, so do as you wish. Season with salt and pepper and serve with love!

Queensland grey pumpkin soup

Almond croissants

It was a lovely rainy Sunday and I didn’t feel like venturing into the village nearby to buy pastries for afternoon tea, so I decided to make some. These were just beautiful. I made some really small, the triangles were only about 10cm in length. And I made some normal size like the bakery (which I baked for a little longer). They were so scrumptious! I hope your next rainy day has a little magic in it!

 

Ingredients

Puff pastry sheets

4 tbs melted butter

2/3 cup muscavado sugar

1 2/3 cup almond meal

30ml good quality almond essence

20ml water

 

Method

Place the almond meal and sugar in a bowl and stir together. Now add the almond essence and water, stirring until you have made a wet crumble that you can press together in your fingers. Cut your pastry sheets into triangles (mine were a little dodgy as geometry is not my strong suit) or into squares, whichever you prefer. Sprinkle the mixture onto the pastry and then roll – for triangles roll from large edge to point, for the squares roll them diagonally.

Triangles

Squares

Rolled up and ready!

Now brush the little morsels you’re your melted butter.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes until golden brown. If you like, place some sliced almonds on top or inside too. I make them with and without the sliced almonds, and they are lovely either way. Also, if you want an extra sugar rush dust with icing powder!!

Almond croissants

Carrot & Parsnip Mash

Grandad is Irish and consequently loves a great bit of parsnip! I like it as a good root vegetable that gives good nourishment so we try to utilise it in various ways. I hope this brings you something new, and you like this one! It is simple and yummy!

Ingredients

500 g carrots

500 g parsnips

100 g butter

Salt and pepper to your liking

 

Method

Boil your veges together in a little salted water. Drain. Add the butter and mash away! Sometimes I mash this very rough when serving with lamb shanks, or I stick blend it smooth for babies or if using it as a side with other stocky veges.

Carrot & Parsnip Mash

Beef casserole

Winter in Australia is here, but in Queensland where I am it is just not as hot as usual. Still, winter food beckons and I answer the call! This dish is packed full of beautiful root vegetables to help fight away any cold and flu, to nourish the gut and get your taste buds dancing! I hope you enjoy this quick little one!

Ingredients

1kg diced beef

1 onion, diced

1 turnip, diced

3 sticks of celery, sliced

2 carrots, diced

1 swede, diced

6 button mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, chopped as you wish

1 cup beef stock

½ a glass of your favourite red wine

1 can crushed tomatoes or 4 tomatoes chopped finely

2 big silver beet leaves, sliced

A handful of parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Like most casseroles, we are going for full flavour and aroma here! So brown your beef in a little olive oil. Now add your onion and garlic and saute down for a couple of minutes. Now add your vegetables, except the silver beet, and swoosh them around, letting them all mingle at the party. Now add your stock, wine (no harm in having a little tipple yourself) and tomatoes. Simmer this all together for about half an hour on low heat. Add salt and pepper to your liking, stirring that in very well ensuring it goes through the dish. Add your silver beet leaves and parsley.

 

When serving casseroles sometimes I have a side of mashed potato, or a little pasta. Here I went for a little gnocchi and it was a good solid accompaniment. If you don’t want a side, don’t do it! Enjoy this easy, flavoursome dish for the hero it is!

Beef casserole

Monte Carlos

This is hailed as an Australian biscuit, but upon research I found something a little different! Full of fashion, racing and gambling, Monaco was associated with glamour, so the Monte Carlo was created in around 1930 in honour of Monaco! We’ve juts had the Grand Prix there in May, so I made a batch in the hope Sebastian Vettel would move over and let our Daniel Riccardo have a win! And turns out, he did!!

 

Ingredients

180g butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour

3/4 cup plain flour

2/3 cup fine coconut

1 pinch bi-carb soda

½ cup raspberry jam will be needed for assembling

3/4 cup icing sugar – for the cream

2 tbs milk – for the cream

60g butter – for the cream

1 tsp vanilla essence – for the cream

 

Method

Combine the butter, essence, sugar and egg and beat well. Sift flours in and beat. Add coconut and stir, and finally the pinch of bi-carb. The mix will be firm and a bit sticky, signifying you’ve done well! Roll tablespoons of the mix into ovals, place on oven trays around 4cm apart and flatten a little using a fork. Bake in your 180 degree oven for about 12 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Here the top tray is uncooked, and the bottom is done.

For the cream, beat the milk, icing sugar, butter and vanilla together with an electric mixer and it will be fluffy and smooth, ready for building your biscuit!

Once cooled, spread raspberry jam on one biscuit back and vienna cream on another biscuit back, then sandwich together. You have done it! Ta da!! I hope you enjoy your fashionable biscuit!

Monte Carlos

Quick roast veges

Do you ever really want roast vegetables but don’t have the hour and a half to do them? Here’s my solution – smaller chunks or slices, and a hotter oven. Now I can have them in under half an hour, perfect for week night dinners.

Ingredients

Any veges you like! For 4 people as a side dish I have used;

5 Potatoes

2 Zucchini

¼ pumpkin

A bunch of herbs you like

A good pinch of salt and a cracking of pepper

 

Method

Place 2 oven trays in a 200 degree Celsius oven to warm. Slice your vegetables about 5mm or so thick. Put them in a bowl and drizzle olive oil all over, tossing it through. Pour the vegetables onto your pre-warmed trays and spread out. If you like herbs, smother the veges in herbs and a bit of salt and pepper to your liking. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. This is great as it gives you enough time to grill some meat and get ready for dinner, and you get your fix of roast vegetables!

Quick roast veges